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Stranger (Ono)

Scene from "Stranger" (photo © Pandora Film)

"It takes courage to love life," says Eva, and the pregnant 22-year-old should know. She has a low-paying, unrewarding job, a mother who refuses to see what she doesn't want to, a father who is losing his mind, and a baby growing within her from a boyfriend who left her. Yet Eva loves life. And when she suddenly realizes that there is a little human being within her, listening to her every word, she decides against an abortion. Little by little, she begins to share her love of life with the child in her womb. With words, music and sounds, she describes the world to her baby, shyly at first, then more and more confidently. Her spirits rise even more when she meets and falls in love with the sensitive Michal, who is perhaps her guardian angel – or a fallen angel. Just as she is reaching an inner freedom, she learns that her delivery will be difficult and that there is a chance her child could die. By now, however, Eva has found the courage to face every challenge: through her unborn child, who responds to her and urges her to go on – for its sake, and for hers.

Stranger is an emotionally complex study of a young woman whose unwanted pregnancy becomes a precious gift.

Malgorzata Szumowska was born in Cracow/Poland in 1973 and graduated from the Film Academy in Lodz. Her shorts Silence and Ascension received much attention, the first being awarded 18 different awards and the second being invited to the Young European Cinema section at Cannes in 1999. Her first feature film, Happy Man (2000), was invited to many international festivals including Warsaw, Rotterdam, Goteborg, San Francisco, Toronto, Karlovy Vary and others. The film was awarded the Artistic Achievement Award at Thessaloniki and selected by the Variety Critics Choice as one of the 10 Best Films made by European directors in 2001. Szumowska directed Seven Lessons of Love for ARTE and was nominated for the European Film Award – Discovery 2000. Her script to stranger was chosen as one of the three best European scripts at Sundance.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2004
Director Malgorzata Szumowska
Screenplay Malgorzata Szumowska
Cinematography Michal Englert
Jacek Drosio
Pawel Mykietyn
Marek Zawierucha
Cast Andrzej Chyra, Marcin Brzozowski, Barbara Kurzaj, Teresa Budzisz-Krzyzanowska, Marek Walczewski, Malgosia Bela
Producers Karl Baumgartner, Raimond Goebel
Production Company Pandora Film Produktion, in co-production with Studio Filmowe Kalejdoskop/Warsaw, Telewizja Polska/Warsaw, Bavaria Media
Length 110 min
Format 35 mm, color
Dubbed Versions German
Original Version
Subtitled Versions French, German
Sound Technology Dolby SRD
Festivals Berlin 2005 (Panorama Special), Karlovy Vary 2005, Ghent 2005, Tallinn Black Nights 2005
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Eurimages, Media Plus Program

World Sales
Bavaria Media International